STATEMENT OF THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS ON THE 15TH ANNIVERSARY OF RUSSIA'S MILITARY AGGRESSION AGAINST GEORGIA IN AUGUST 2008
Today, the 7th of August 2023, marks the 15th year after the full-fledged military intervention of the Russian Federation against Georgia in 2008.
In August 2008, it was the first case of violation of the territorial integrity and attempts to forcefully redraw the borders of a sovereign state by the Russian Federation, posing a serious threat to the security architecture of the region and whole of Europe. After 15 years the Russian Federation still continues the occupation of the Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia which are indivisible regions of Georgia ignoring the fundamental norms and principles of international law, which has been confirmed by several decisions of international courts.
The Russian Federation does not fulfill the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement, expands its illegal control in the occupied territories and aggrevates the already dire security and humanitarian environment on the ground through various illegal actions such as the installation of barbed wire fences and other artificial barriers along the occupation line, restriction of the movement of the conflict-affected population, illegal detentions and etc. Moreover, creating a common social and economic space with the occupied territories, signing various so-called integration agreements and memoranda, strengthens the effective control of the Russian Federation on the ground and further isolates people living in the occupied territories from the rest of Georgia and the international community.
The occupying power continues to prevent unhindered access for international human rights organizations and the establishment of international security mechanisms on the ground. Even the EU Monitoring Mission is denied access to Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions, despite its mandate.
Georgia unequivocally pursues the policy of peaceful resolution of the Russia-Georgia conflict and is determined to use diplomatic and legal instruments and continue close cooperation with its international partners to ensure the de-occupation and peaceful development of the country. Georgia continues to be constructively engaged in the Geneva International Discussions, which is the only format addressing the issue of the implementation of the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement. Government of Georgia takes steps to facilitates reconciliation and confidence-building between communities divided by the occupation line and to build a common European future.
Georgia is grateful for the unwavering support of the international community to sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and highly appreciates the contribution of international partners in the process of peaceful resolution of the Russia-Georgia conflict. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs appeals to the international community to continue consolidated efforts for achieving peaceful conflict settlement and de-occupation of Georgian territories, the return of IDPs and refugees to their homes, and ensuring peace and security in Georgia and the region as a whole.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls on the Russian Federation to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia, to fulfill the obligations under the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and to withdraw its forces from the territory of Georgia.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs extends its condolences to the families and relatives of the civilians and soldiers who died heroically in the 2008 war.